'Ukiyo-e Heroes'

Print #5 - The Soul Eater

Title: The Soul Eater

Cartouche: "Heavenly Warrior - Guardian of Dreams"

Comments from Jed: "The major design 'issue' with this theme is that the original character is so strongly stylized - nothing more than a circle with eyes and a mouth - that there is nothing that falls within the ukiyo-e vocabulary at all. The character is bunch of shapes, and not ideas. Someone like Link though, has any number of physical accoutrements (boots, hat, sword, etc.) that say "This is Link," and those are things that can be transposed into another era with little problem. But this character doesn't wear anything, doesn't carry anything, and is so simplified that there is very little left with which to work. But given that we have a character that walks around sucking up people and absorbing their essence and using it against them, sounded pretty sinister, so I couldn't simply draw him as 'cute' as his original design was."

Comments from Dave: "Along with the Rickshaw Cart image, this was the one that grabbed me by the lapels and convinced me to begin working together with Jed, back in 2012. I had (and still have) no idea what is going on here; I have never played the game, and know nothing at all about the characters. But unlike many of the people collecting our prints - many of whom are attracted because of an emotional connection to the game characters or the gameplay - I see only the image, nothing but the 'naked' image ... colours, shapes, and composition. And I believe that a couple of hundred years from now, when these prints that we have made have become aged and perhaps a bit tattered, that even then - when all our contemporary cultural knowledge of the games is nothing but a remote memory - people will still look at this print with delight and wonder."

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